Silent Women

Silent

 

 

Sunday 03/11/18 

Series: In Decency & Order Pt. 2

Message – Silent Women

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Silent Women

We have dealt with this in some length in our church due to God having revealed to us 9+ years ago that we had been doing church wrong for some time. Nevertheless, the passage is here at the end of a chapter that is talking about Decency & Order in the church AND the “How-tos” regarding spiritual gifts in the church.

So let’s lay down some basic points which up to this moment we have all agreed to:

  • Paul in this letter is not only addressing the assembly of believers in Corinth, but has upon several occasions, clearly stated that what he is saying to the church in Corinth has direct application to the body of Christ world wide.
    • 1Cor. 1:2, “To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:”
  • Paul is dealing with Spiritual Gifts and therefore what the Holy Spirit would do and say – as opposed to what He would NOT do and would NOT say.
    • Ex: Anyone who calls Jesus Accursed is not speaking by the Spirit of God – 1Cor.12:3
  • Paul is concerned about edification in the church.
  • Paul is concerned with Order in the church.
  • Paul is concerned with procedures in the church.
  • Paul is speaking the commandments of Jesus TO the church.

Are we in agreement on these points? This is important because it supplies the setting in which the words we are about to read are to be understood!

So we can agree that if that HAS BEEN the truth thus far in this letter, it HAS to be true about whatever he is about to say – unless he qualifies it as being something JUST to the Corinthians for reasons which only apply to them.

Let’s read our passage:

1Cor. 14:34-40, “(34) Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says.  (35) And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church. (36) Or did the word of God come originally from you? Or was it you only that it reached?  (37) If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord. (38) But if anyone is ignorant, let him be ignorant. (39) Therefore, brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak with tongues.  (40) Let all things be done decently and in order.”

Now remember that the 1st rule of interpretation is that God will not contradict His Own Word. So we have to examine this passage and it’s meaning in light of other statements in the Word.

Does the Word of God ever allow women to speak in church? YES, and it is in a statement which very much mirrors this one we are examining. So let’s turn to it in 1 Tim. 2:8-14 and we will refer back to it later in our teaching this morning. Again 1 Tim. 2, starting in verse 8.

1Tim. 2:8-14, (8) I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting;  (9) in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing,  (10) but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works. (11) Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. (12) And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence.  (13) For Adam was formed first, then Eve. (14) And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.”

So this passage says, (8) I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting;  (9) in like manner also…”

The words,…in like manner also…” refer back to what he just said, meaning that he desires women to pray everywhere in the same manner as men – only with women it looks a little different – though the activity is the same. Paul is saying, I also desire that women pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting…but for a women’s hands to be holy while praying she cannot at the same time dress in a way which is only intended to draw attention to herself. So even without directly saying it – Paul is pointing out that a woman is to be under-authority and appear as such. She is to honor her Lord first and her father’s house or husband second in how she dresses – not only in modesty but in propriety – not drawing attention to herself. Like the Menorah we learned about on Wednesday, a woman is to shine – but upon Christ and her husband – NOT shine simply for the personal glory of shining! THIS IS A REAL PROBLEM in the world and in the church for women and worse than that – it is encouraged & modeled in the assemblies!

The second passage is found in 1 Cor. 11:4-5,

“(4) Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonors his head.  (5) But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, for that is one and the same as if her head were shaved.” [that this is referring to the length of hair see verses 13-15]

“13  Judge among yourselves. Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14  Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him? 15  But if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her; for her hair is given to her for a covering.”

So here Paul is again allowing for women to pray and prophecy, but to do so UNDER AUTHORITY because otherwise she dishonors her father’s house or her husband..

So – with these two examples under our belt, let’s look at our passage in 1 Cor. 14:34-35.

The two verbal elephants in these verses are the words Silent and speak. It is mentioned in the negative – meaning – be silent – don’t speak…and it is mentioned no less than 3x’s in the span of two sentences.

So…it’s important!

Now… this is NOT the first time this these words have made an appearance in this chapter. Let’s look at the others…

  • 1Cor. 14:28, “But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in church, and let him speak to himself and to God.”
  • 1Cor. 14:30,But if anything is revealed to another who sits by, let the first keep silent.

Now does anyone believe that in these two former verses, it means that to be silent is all-encompassing and for all time? NO!

The word for silent means To be silent or still. To hold your peace.

So while this word has an externally focus on the mouth and does in fact mean “don’t talk”, it also carries the focus of “being still or keeping inwardly calm and maintaining your peace” which reveals an inward focus on the heart.

So we can begin our research into the meaning of these words in verses 34-35 with that as a possibility here as well.

Now…let’s read this passage again, only this time look for any verbal clues concerning Paul’s audience.

“WHO” is Paul addressing by “Your women”?

Well in these verses, on one level it “appears” to be addressing wives for several reasons…

  1. “Be submissive as says the law”.
    1. The only 2 passages I know of which Paul could be addressing here are:
      1. Gen. 2:18, “And the LORD God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.”
      2. Gen. 3:16, “To the woman He said: “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain you shall bring forth children; Your desire shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you.”
  2. “Ask their own husbands at home” (which ‘could’ correspond to ‘your women’)

So let’s look at these two points and then examine – which Paul was saying or IF it makes any difference.

To do this we have to determine whether God’s intent In Gen. 2:18 was to describe ONLY the role of married women specifically or whether His intention was to define ALL women regardless of marital status.

Let’s read it again, and then we will examine it’s meaning..

Gen. 2:18, “And the LORD God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.”

Her purpose is inexorably tied up in her function.

She was created FOR man.

But does that mean women were created to help men….or wives were created to help their husbands?

Well since Eve’s purpose and function were tied to Adam…we need to determine, was God referring to all men in Adam or only future husbands.

Was God saying, “It is not good for husbands to be alone – so I will give them wives” or was He saying, “It is not good for humanity to exist as only male – I will make a counterpoint to them – one who is comparable to them, complementary to them and whose function it will be to help them and lend them aid”?

Well, let’s see what Paul says about these verses in 1 Cor. 11:2,3

1Cor. 11:2-3, “(2) Now I praise you, brethren, that you remember me in all things and keep the traditions just as I delivered them to you.  (3) But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.”

Well – to begin with what about the 1st example?

  • Is God the head of every man or just husbands? Every man.

So, with only these interpretive verses to go by – what would be your determination?

  • Is God speaking to wives only in Eve?
  • Is God speaking to all women in Eve?

Let’s keep reading…

1Cor. 11:4-12, “(4) Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonors his head.  (5) But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, for that is one and the same as if her head were shaved.  (6) For if a woman is not covered, let her also be shorn. But if it is shameful for a woman to be shorn or shaved, let her be covered. (7) For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man.  (8)  For man is not from woman, but woman from man.  (9)  Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man.  (10)  For this reason the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.  (11) Nevertheless, neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord.  (12) For as woman came from man, even so man also comes through woman; but all things are from God.”

These words are universal… they are not limited to the married only. Man is not from woman as a source but woman from man as a source.

Notice that God created woman FOR man NOT man FOR woman – from this Paul shows that women have been delegated a support role for men – not a leadership role.

  • The fact that Paul shows that this impacts not only home life but worship, demonstrates clearly that this responsibility of headship is NOT limited to the marriage relationship, but is all pervasive in God’s intent for creation, which includes the local assemblies.

Two secondary but important points here also are:

  • The “Symbol of authority” on the woman’s head is an outward expression of a spiritual reality that she lives a life of voluntary submission under her husband or by extension under her father or brother’s covering of responsible authority concerning her.
  • WHAT this symbol is – is not a point of contention with Paul. THAT some symbol is necessary in order to not dishonor her head, was the important thing. In America, and many countries, one major symbol of being under the authority of one’s husband is a wedding band. However, many women’s conduct preaches a different gospel than Christ in the way they treat their husbands with little to no reverence at all.

So, looking back at our passage…I think a fair minded person would have to come down on the side of God is in fact addressing all women in Eve – not just wives.

Now, we have to ask ourselves…What is being implied in these statements? Women are to help, support men in THEIR work, be a companion & a friend.

An exhortation to WOMEN: Everything in your life should be measured by this and the ways in which the scriptures tell you they are lived out!

It is clear that these intentions are not just for the married only but were integrated into the woman’s design.

Rebellion towards these standards is rampant in our world – so much so that even level-headed sinners can see how out of balance the whole gender issue is! The spirit of the age is calling for a blurring of the gender lines.

Yesterday at Publix in Ellenton I saw a man who had to be in his late 70’s very least…who was standing in the customer service line in a blue dress with a white “doily” looking shawl draped over his shoulders. 15 years ago and he would not only have been laughed out of the store – he would almost certainly never been waited on…Those days are gone.

When I saw it, the first scripture that popped into mind was Deut. 22:5. Someone read it for me.

Deut. 22:5,  “A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman’s garment, for all who do so are an abomination to the LORD your God.”

Now, is it just the cloths that God is concerned about or does this statement speak to a deeper concern of Gods? No, God does not want a blurring of the gender lines in any way, and you cannot blur a line that does not exist!

So, back in our passage of 1 Cor. 14 – even if it could be argued that he is talking to wives specifically, his reasons were based upon truths which are binding upon all women.

Now the second word we need to examine is the word “speak”. It is the word Laleo and it appears quite a bit in this chapter and it can be a little complicated to interpret.

Standing alone without a context if simply means to talk at random, as contrasted with Greek word légō (G3004) which involves the intellectual part of man, his reason. Laleo is used especially of children with the meaning of to talk much.

In fact, when reference is made to those who spoke in tongues, whether foreign languages or the Corinthian unknown tongue, it is always referred to as laléō glṓssais (glṓssa [G1100], tongue). This emphasized not the content of the speech, but merely that they uttered sounds, which as far as the hearers were concerned – where unintelligible.

There are times however, when this word is modified by the context where the meaning lies not so much in the verb itself, laléō, as in the adjuncts. So in this case it is HIGHLY likely that Paul is specifically referring to a type of speaking that he JUST addressed!

So let’s scroll up and see what was the last example of “speaking” Paul addressed?

Well, Paul (as you know) was talking about maintaining order while being used in the gifts and he had provided TWO examples of this… The first was tongues with interpretation and the second was Prophecy.

So far as we know, Paul has – up to this point never told women they cannot give a message or an interpretation of tongue…and we KNOW that Paul allowed women to prophecy and pray EVERYWHERE – in 1Cor. 11:

In this second example however, we see Paul mentioning a type of speaking which would have been prohibited to women – based upon other teachings of Paul – namely – judging Prophecy.

Now, lets turn back to 1 Tim. 2, where Paul says something nearly identical to these verses.

1Tim. 2:8-14, (8) I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting;  (9) in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing,  (10) but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works. (11) Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. (12) And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence.  (13) For Adam was formed first, then Eve. (14) And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.”

Now we have already pointed out that these words are said in the greater context of a woman’s place in society relative to man for whom she was made.

Women here are told to:

  1. Be silent – Learn in silence
  2. Learn with all submission (hupotasso)
  3. Never teach a man
  4. Never exercise authority – acting like a governor over man. (This has FAR reaching implications)
    1. Consider the ONLY queen Athalia the only Queen to ever rule in Israel – 2 Kings 11:1-20 & 2 Chronicles 22:1-15 – who was killed by God’s help for assuming authority which was not hers.
      1. Isaiah 3:12, Childish leaders oppress my people, and women rule over them. O my people, your leaders mislead you; they send you down the wrong road.”
    2. Or Miriam, Deborah & Huldah…ALL of which respected male authority & loathed supplanting men’s rightful position. by God for assuming authority which was not theirs.
  5. To remain at and hold her peace

The reasons given are two: (Now are we still under the belief that ALL scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for what we ought to believe? YES)

Paul says the reasons are:

  1. Creation order
  2. Deception

Man (not the husband) was made 1st. Paul says this was intentional and stood for something important. It points to man’s headship role in humanity. IF women were designed to help men, then men must be designed by God to be the ones leading – the ones with a mission that needs aid.

It does not matter where you go, or what time period you visit…overwhelmingly, men are in authority…and in the end, it is ultimately always true.

Even in nearly every major industry known to man – men excel above women.

Not just the best known architects, engineers and scientists like you’d expect, but even among the top 10…

  • best fashion designers (7-10 are men)
  • interior decorators (7-10 are men)
  • bakery chefs (10 – 10)
  • make-up artists (5-10) are men…and the list goes on and on.

Why…what is this saying?

Is it because women are somehow less talented than men? If so – how could they possible be of any assistance?

Is it because men are somehow superior to women? If so, why would men NEED their help?

No –  This is NOT about ability – it is about delegated authority.

Consider that even when Jesus taught and did miracles – the overwhelming majority of the amazement was not over the doctrine or even the acts of power – but the obvious authority with which He did it!

Now what does this say about women? If they are to aid men rather than lead them, what does that look like?

Well, that is NOT really the focus of our teaching this morning and I have taught on this at length especially back in March and April of 2010. But in brief recap and to place these saying of Paul in some sort of a meaningful context lets consider that..

Single women fulfill this function of being an helper to men by ministering to their needs. This is said of Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Susanna and others in Luke 8:1-3 & Matt. 27:55. One of the words used there is akin to diakoni and means to serve food to.

The word servant and helper is used of Phoebe in Rom. 16:1-2. In the case of Phoebe, who was by all historical accounts single – the wording means that Phoebe attended to the needs of strangers and practiced hospitality (Prov. 31 woman) to the poor saints in Cenchrea, and the strangers that came there.

Another Mary is mentioned in verse 6 of Rom. 16 as having labored much. This word is G2872 kopiáō; and means to weary oneself with labor, to toil  and in this and other cases it means to labor for someone else. Lydia is said to have housed Paul and those with him, giving him a place to stay and likely food to eat while ministering in Macedonia and 1Tim. 5:5-15 says even more concerning single women (never married, divorced or widows).

To the married, it means to manage the home if you are married and to teach younger women how to do this if you are older in Titus 2:3-5. Prov. 31 describes this woman as one who always has her husband’s best interest at heart, whose heart can completely trust in and rely upon her, she prepares food for her house and cloths for her family, sees to it that they are appropriately dressed for the weather and the occasion. That she responds in obedience to her own husband and defers to him. She draws attention TO and not AWAY from him. She supports him in his work and is always the encourager…etc. 1 Peter 3:1; Col. 3:18; Eph. 5:22; 1Cor. 11:1-16)

WOMEN, I’m telling you…Everything in your life should be measured by this and the ways in which the scriptures tell you they are fleshed out! (Chaste conduct, modest clothing, not boisterous, calm demeanor, supportive of men in general & husbands specifically, teachable, submissive, keepers of the home…etc.)

The second reason was deception. Eve was not just deceived as opposed to Adam, but the words say she was COMPLETELY 100% brought into deception.

Women who support female teachers in the church point out that this has to do with the fall and is therefore not relevant. However, the Holy Spirit seems to think it is as is seen in these verses and her deception was PRIOR and led TO her fall, it did not simply follow it.

So back in our passage in 1 Cor. 14:34-35, Paul is saying…

“In regard to judging prophecy, Let your women keep silent in the churches, for it is not permitted for them to speak in this way.”

1Cor. 14:34-40, “(35)  And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in this way in church.”  

Then Paul asks rhetorically…

“(36)  Or did the word of God come originally from you? Or was it you only that it reached?”

He finally sums up his words with,

“ (37)  If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord.  (38) But if anyone ignores these words, let them be ignored. (39) Therefore, brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak with tongues.  (40) Let all things be done decently and in order.”

This service had content that is NOT written out here, so I would encourage you to listen to it WHILE you read…Blessings! 

 

I hope this teaching will challenge you and encourage you to place your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

You have a special place in God’s family & kingdom. If you do not know Him, please use our ‘Contact Us‘ page and reach out so we may have the privilege of introducing you to the Lord. Neither money nor attendance at our church will be mentioned.

If you have been spiritually fed by this ministry and wish to give, we truly appreciate that and you may do so here, but all outreaches of this ministry are FREE for you and anyone to enjoy at no cost.

Blessings!

 

Hi I am Pastor Mark...

I have been a pastor for nearly 30 years now (2018), though never quite like I am today. (more on that in a moment)

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As to my home, I have been married since 1995 to my wonderful wife Terissa Woodson who is my best friend, greatest personal support and most valued aid.
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As far as my education goes, I grew up in a Christian home, but questioned everything I was ever taught. I graduated from Bible college in 1990 and continued to question everything I was ever taught (I do not mention my college in order to avoid being labeled). Perhaps my greatest preparation for ministry has been life and ministry itself. To quote an author I have come to enjoy namely Fredrick Buechner in his writing entitled, Now and Then,

"If God speaks to us at all other than through such official channels as the Bible and the church, then I think that He speaks to us largely through what happens to us...if we keep our hearts open as well as our ears, if we listen with patience and hope, if we remember at all deeply and honestly, then I think we come to recognize beyond all doubt, that, however faintly we may hear Him, He is indeed speaking to us, and that, however little we may understand of it, His word to each of us is both recoverable and precious beyond telling."

~ Fredrick Buechner

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By 2009 I’d been Pastoring for nearly 20 years. Earlier in 2009 the Lord revealed to me that the way we had structured our church was not in keeping with the New Testament. This was a shock to me and it is was a revelation that did not come all at once but over the course of a few weeks.

We were a traditional single pastor led congregation. It was a top-bottom model of ministry which is in part biblical, but not in the form of a monarchy.

The needed change did not come into focus until about 9 very intense months of study and discussions with those who were leaders in our church at the time.

We believe the Bible teaches co-leadership with equal authority in each local assembly and though we currently only have one Pastor/Elder, it is our desire that God, in His faithfulness and timing, may bring us more as we grow in maturity and even in numbers. Having multiple shepherds with God's heart and equal authority protects both Shepherds and sheep. Equal accountability keep authority and doctrine in check. Multiple shepherds also provides teaching with various styles and giftings with leadership skills which are both different and complementary.

Well that is about all there is of interest to tell you about me. I hope our ministry here is a blessing to you and your family. I also hope that it is only a supplement to a local church where you are committed to other believers in a community of grace.

~God Bless!